Introducing “Love Is In Da Blog 2021” and Come Away With Me to Portugal

Hello, my dear readers, how are you? Did you get into 2021 with a bang? Or all quiet? It was quiet for us as my husband had to work. Just in case I haven’t said it to you yet: Healthy & Happy New Year despite everything.

I am going ahead a month today. Traditionally, I offer my blog event “Love Is In Da Blog” every year in February. Usually, I mention it later in January but this year I have chosen prompts that might need some preparation so I let you know far in advance.

What is “Love Is In Da Blog” all about?

Love is In Da Blog” is an annual February blog event here on “The Bee Writes…”. It started with a month of poetry, went over to some Stream of Consciousness posts and has then after several years evolved to a music blog event.

This year however, I’ve decided to top it all: We are going to share music or poetry or both. And I have chosen an overarching theme: “Great Love Stories”. The rest stays the same:

I write a prompt post and you answer with a blog post (write your suggestion in a comment if you don’t have a blog) and link back to my post about that prompt. So, for example, the prompt post for February 1st will be on January 31st. The next day we all answer it with a post (or comment) about our poems and/or music and then link back to my post tomorrow. This post will contain my answer first and then the prompt for the next day. And then go and visit other participants posts. It’s so much fun, believe me!!!! If you don’t believe me check out last years here.

Here is a summary with some more information:

“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part.
  3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or “LoIsInDaBl” or “Love Is In Da Blog 21” or #LoIsInDaBl21. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
  4. No matter which music the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended 😉 ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
  5. I post the prompt post the day before which is connected with the music for that day so you have some time to make up your mind and create your post. There won’t be two different posts and I hope it’s not too confusing.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.

As this years topic might need a little research I am going to post the prompt list at every “Come Away With Me” post throughout January, so you have a lot of time to prepare. Also, I will send invitations to join my blog to all who have taken part previously (as far as I can find you 🙂 ) because my blog is private now. Hopefully, that does not stop our fun.

Find the prompt list at the end of this post.

A Look Back to How “Come Away With Me” started

When I created the page for “Come Away With Me” I got slightly muddled up when I wanted to visit what country. So I had two posts that were supposed for 2020 already written but the posting changed to 2021. So here is a look back at how I wrote the posts in the beginning:

“Hello out there, how are you? Is your life rocking? I very much hope so. If not feel a tripple chocolate brownie coming your way and a mug of your favourite hot beverage. Enjoy, relax and remember that you can manage anything you set your mind to.

Today’s Music Monday is a little risky. We are now visiting Portugal and I found a young artists calld Julinho KSD but I can’t find any information about him. I like the song that I chose, but for all I know it could be some rough gangsta music. Well, I hope not and invite you to enjoy the young man’s song: Hoji N’Ka Ta Rola ( Hoji N’Ka Ta Rolls )

Please follow the link underneath the video if it doesn’t play here on the blog

Music Monday is a meme created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek where you pick a song you like and share it on a Monday. Please head over and find more brilliant music posts!

Happy Monday to you all!!!!!”

But, of course, now we go a little deeper. So let’s come away to Portugal.


Introduction to Portugal

I am not sure how many British people have realised how much more difficult it is since January 1st to travel to mainland Europe. The UK left the EU single market which means you need a visa to travel to the continent. Your pet also needs a passport and might even have to quarantine to get back to the UK. You need to have travel insurance and a certificate to be allowed to drive in Europe. Why am I telling you all this? Because Portugal is one of the most favourite British holiday and retirement destinations. And many of the people who love to go there, voted for Brexit, being dubbed into believing, that nothing would change for them. Well,…

Of course, many of us connect Portugal with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who still hasn’t been found but maybe even more so with history. Apparently, the exploration of the world started in Portugal (if you take the Vikings out of the equation) because the Portugese love the ocean and would live in it if they could. You might remember Vasco Da Gama but might not know, that Columbus had a Portugese wife and lived in Lisbon for a while.

I’ve never made it to Portugal but enjoyed Rick Stein’s stay in Lisbon on his “Long Weekends” in which he relished the brilliant sea food. Food Unwrapped went to Portugal too to find out how Sardines get into the cans. And as a fan of “A Place in the Sun” I have seen several holiday apartments all over the place. And I love the famous cockerel which reached me on a post card from my step-mom who travelled Lisbon with her friends. Yes, I have a connection while never been there ;-).

But how does Portugal look like, what does it eat, who lives there and who are they friends with? Let’s have a look with this playlist:

An Artist of Portugal

We often think of women in the 1600s of having now power and being dependendent on their fathers, brothers or husbands. However, there are some examples of very independent and strong-minded women in those days.

One example is Portuguese painter JOSEFA DE ÓBIDOS. She was born in 1630 to a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother. She showed a great passion for painting from a young age and seemed to have been supported by her father who was a painter too.

She seemed to have been one of those all round talents who also worked as a miniaturist, etcher, terracotta modeller, silver-worker and calligrapher. Josefa could work from her own atelier and soon became famous for her flower and animal images.

In her life-time monasteries seem to have flourished too which needed pious artwork that was right up her street. She was a devout catholic and soon got lots of contracts. Please find out more about here life here on the Portugal Travel Guide page. And this video shows some of her works.

video credit: St. Paul Gallery via YouTube

A Climate Activist of Portugal

Nope, not only one but six climate activists from Portugal, who are filing a case with the European Court of Human Rights against 33 countries which are doing not enough against climate change. These young people are Catarina Mota, Sofia & Andre Oliviera, Claudia & Martim Agostinho & Gerry Liston.

They have experienced devastating wildfires & horrible heatwaves in recent years and feel that their human rights to a safe home and environment is endangered by most countries not doing enough:

video credit: GLAN via YouTube

The countries are all European Union countries, Great Britain, Switzerland, Norway, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine and they explain more in this press conference what this is all about.

video credit: GLAN via YouTube

I think they deserve our respect and support! Find out more here on their Crowdfund page

Food of Portugal

When I think of Portuguese food I think of sardines and custard tarts. But there is so much more to discover. Find out more here:

Video credit: Mark Wiens via YouTube

And if you want to try out some for yourself check out Ana’s Portuguese Cooking where you can find recipes but also cook books and cooking courses. Yum!

A Poetess of Portugal

Today I invite you to discover Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen one of the most loved poets in Portugal. She is so famous that she is often simply called “Sophia” and everybody knows who is meant. Sophia was educated and raised strictly catholic and her faith played a big part in her life. She defended the constitutional monarchy while dictator Salazar was in power and even openly critized him. She worked shortly for the centre-left Socialist Party in Portugal after the fall of Salazar in the Carnation Revolution and her son is journalist & author Miguel Sousa Tavares.

I would have loved to give you a video about her life and/or her poetry but most videos on YouTube are in Portuguese. So please visit her PoemHunter.com page to find out more.

Mental Health in Portugal

I am rather surprised that it was again difficult to find information about the mental health care system in Portugal. Would have thought there is more out there. Well, I guess there is, but much is in Portuguese and I and probably most of you do not speak the language. So today we go about it a little different and I show you a video about how a Portuguese Judoku experienced his mental health struggles.

video credit: Trans World Sport via YouTube

Some musicians of Portugal

This is a very interesting music list. Please enjoy.

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2021 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, January 11th, 2021

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture further East into Spain. Please find musicians from Spain on the Last.FM page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part.
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2021 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2021MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2021 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away 2021 badge
Come Away With Me 2021 badge

And as I promised here is the list for the the 2021 Love Is In Da Blog prompts. I hope you’ll like them and take part. This list will appear in all January “Come Away With Me” posts, so you have ample time to prepare and take part. Happy versing and finding music 😉

Prompt List for Love Is In Da Blog 2021 “Great Love Stories”

So here are the prompts for “Love Is In Da Blog 2021” in February with the topic “Great Love Stories”

  1. Choose your own
  2. Romeo & Juliet ~ Find a love song and/or write a Madrigal about them.
  3. Casablanca ~ Find an unusual version of “As Time Goes By” and/or write an Acrostic with this song title
  4. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal (Taj Mahal) ~ Find a Bollywood song and/or write an Epitaph for lovers
  5. Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo ~ Find a Jazz love-song and/or write a Contrapuntal poem about Rivera & Kahlo
  6. Paris & Helen ~ Find a love song of war and/or write an ode to Helen & Paris
  7. Bonnie & Clyde ~ Find a Blues love song and/or write a Nonet about doomed love
  8. Choose your own
  9. The Butterfly Lovers ~ Find a pop love song with a butterfly in it and/or write a Gu Ti poem (second form in the article)
  10. Johnny Cash & June Carter ~ Find a country love song and/or write a Senryu about love
  11. Tristan & Iseult ~ Find a love folk song and/or write an Ae Freislighe about love
  12. Dr Zhivago & Lara ~ Find a “revolutionary” love song and/or write an Onegin Stanza about Zhivago and Lara
  13. Orpheus & Eurydice ~ Find a singer/songwriter song about love and/or write an Ovillejo poem about love
  14. Niulang and Zhinu (Cowherd and Weaver Girl) ~ Find a Valentine’s song and/or write a Sijo poem about love.
  15. Choose your own
  16. Pretty Woman ~ Find a great opera love song and/or write a Bop poem about Edwards & Vivienne’s love
  17. Cleopatra & Mark Antony ~ Find a 50’s love song and/or write a Descord Poem about love
  18. Elizabeth Bennett & Mr. Darcy ~ Find a love themed piece of music from the romantic era and/or write a romantic poem.
  19. Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas ~ Find a chanson about love and/or write a Lai poem about Gertrude & Alice
  20. Sisi & Franz ~ Find an acapella Love song and/or write a Sestina poem about Sisi & Franz
  21. Lancelot & Guinevere ~ Find a love rock song and/or write a Hir a Thoddaid poem about love
  22. Choose your own
  23. Aragorn and Arwen ~ Find a classical love piece and/or write a poem in your own invented language (With translation please 😉 )
  24. Jackie Kennedy & Aristotle Onassis ~ Find a love song from 1968 and/or write a free verse poem about love
  25. Hadrian & Antinous ~ Find a metal ballad about love and/or write a Rispetto poem about their love
  26. Katniss & Peeta ~ Find a love song from the “Hunger Games” films and/or write a Tricubes poem about love
  27. Dante & Beatrice ~ Find an Italian love song and/or write a Palindrome poem about love
  28. Clara & Esteban (House of Spirits) ~ Find an exotic love song and/or write a Katauta poem

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow some same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. So far the campaign has raised a little more than half the amount needed: £421,188 of £800,000 (December 2020).

Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks, my dears, for staying with me until the end.

I appreciate your presence.

Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

5 thoughts on “Introducing “Love Is In Da Blog 2021” and Come Away With Me to Portugal

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